nutrition education - NTI

3 Sisters Mexican Stew

Shawna Linquist Blog

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One of the oldest human traditions is spending time together over a shared meal.  For millennia, sharing a meal has been at the core of the human experience.  It’s an experience that binds us, humbles us, educates us, and opens us up.  It’s not only an exchange of food, but one of time, effort, wisdom, and love. When you cook, you have the opportunity to put your heart and soul right into the bowl.  What a gift it is to share our souls with one another in food.  Whether we’re gathering with long-time friends and family or meeting new acquaintances, food offers an opportunity to connect.  Coming together to “break bread” satisfies two basic human needs: the need to belong…and the need to eat.

Across time and culture, this sacred tradition has drawn us together all over the world. Spaniards gather for their largest meal midday, followed by a siesta and small plates, or tapas, late in the evening.  In Japanese tatami culture, meals are shared sitting on the floor.  In France or Italy, a meal will span several courses and last for hours.  There are many different ways upon which we embrace mealtime, and one culture, in particular, that does it well is Mexican culture. In any given city or town, you will find groups eating together with family and friends in homes, town squares, parks, and other central areas.  Generations come to the table to enjoy some of the most delicious cuisine designed to be shared.  As the days grow colder, I hope this 3 Sisters Mexican Stew will inspire you to embody the warm and welcoming culture of Mexican cuisine and share this special meal with those you love.

Why we love it:
  • Butternut Squash is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Just one cup of cooked butternut squash offers over 450% of the recommended daily intake for Vitamin A and over 50% for Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin A is crucial for regulating cell growth, immune function, eye, bone, and reproductive health. A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin A helps reduce inflammation by fighting free radical damage.
  • Studies show an increased level of Vitamin A decreases your risk of many cancers.
  • Vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient, is involved in much more than making your skin glow and boosting immunity. It plays a central role in disease prevention by minimizing oxidative stress and cellular damage.
  • Higher Vitamin C intake may lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and is associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • Cumin may increase the activity of digestive enzymes and the release of bile from the liver, aiding in digestion.
  • Cumin may help reduce and stabilize blood sugar, preventing diabetes. It is also helpful in promoting detoxification and a healthy immune system.
3 Sisters Mexican Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. oil
  • 2 c. chopped onions
  • 6 garlic cloves- peeled and minced
  • 1-1½ t. salt
  • 2 cups butternut squash- peeled and diced (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 yellow squash- paysanne
  • ¼ -½ t. chipotle pwd. (cayenne may be substituted but use less)
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. Mexican oregano
  • 4 t. ground cumin
  • 5 c. vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1-28 oz. canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2-15 oz. canned black or pinto bean
  • 2 c. red and/or green bell peppers- diced
  • 2 c. fresh or frozen (10 oz. pkg.) corn kernels
  • 2 T. cornstarch + ½ cup water

Directions:

  1. Put a soup pot on medium heat. Add the oil, onions, garlic, and salt.
  2. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, chipotle (cayenne), cinnamon, cumin, broth, and tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the peppers, beans, and corn; simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Combine the cornstarch and water, stir into the stew and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. It may be served with sour cream or cheddar cheese.

Serves 8

Variation:

  1. Purchase 1½ pounds trimmed pork stew meat (shoulder)
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic in a pressure cooker with the pork for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, cover and bring cooker to pressure.
  4. Cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Cool, open the cooker and proceed with the recipe.

(Recipe by Chef Lynda Lacher)

 

Chef Kylee Snyder is a recent graduate of NTI’s Natural Food Chef Program. She currently leads nutritional cooking classes and provides holistic health coaching that has been known to cause deep affection towards vegetables. Connect with Kylee at www.rendezfoodhhc.com.

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